Hasim Rahman bout rescheduled
Former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman's medical reports are in order and his mandatory shot against titleholder Alexander Povetkin has been rescheduled for Sept. 29 in Hamburg, Germany, the promoters for each fighter told ESPN.com on Monday.
Rahman was originally scheduled to face Povetkin on July 14 in Hamburg, but Rahman withdrew two weeks before the fight after he aggravated a cyst on his right wrist during training and had surgery to remove it.
The initial medical report, according to Rahman promoter Greg Cohen, was that Rahman would need to rest his wrist for two weeks before he could resume training.
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But with the need to clear a new date with ARD, the German television network that has a deal with Povetkin promoter Sauerland Event, combined with the summer lull in the boxing schedule because of the Olympics, the fight was put off until September.
Cohen said Rahman began to train again last week after his doctor cleared him and that there are no lingering issues from the surgery.
"The cyst was successfully removed in its entirety. No more cysts," Cohen said. "Hasim has received full medical clearance to resume all boxing activities effective immediately. Hasim is looking forward to shocking the world again."
On Monday, the fight was rescheduled after Sauerland Event said it was satisfied with the Rahman medical reports it received.
"They provided us with medicals that appear to be in order," Sauerland Event general manager Chris Meyer said. "We have scheduled the bout for Sept. 29 in Hamburg. We are happy that the bout will finally go ahead."
A news conference in Hamburg to formally announce the new date is scheduled for Aug. 15.
Meyer said Povetkin will resume his training this week with former junior welterweight champion and 2011 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Kostya Tszyu as his head trainer.
Meyer said the co-feature will pit European heavyweight champion Kubrat Pulev (16-0, 8 KOs) of Bulgaria in his first title defense against Alexander Ustinov (27-0, 21 KOs) of Russia. The fight will also serve as a title eliminator that will give the winner a mandatory shot against world champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Povetkin (24-0, 16 KOs), 32, was originally due to make the third defense of his second-tier title against Rahman (50-7-2, 41 KOs) in London on the undercard of the Dereck Chisora-David Haye heavyweight fight on July 14 before the bout was shifted to Hamburg due to conflicts on the timing requirements of the two bouts with their respective home television networks, BoxNation in the United Kingdom and ARD in Germany.
The 39-year-old Rahman shocked the world in 2001 by knocking out Lennox Lewis in a massive upset in South Africa to win the heavyweight championship, although Lewis knocked him out in the fourth round of a court-ordered rematch seven months later.
Rahman has had a number of big-fight opportunities since and has usually come up short. In his most recent title fight, he got an opportunity against Klitschko in 2008 but was battered en route to a seventh-round knockout loss in Germany.
Rahman has won five fights in a row since, but all have been against extremely low-level opposition, yet the WBA still elevated him to the mandatory challenger for Povetkin's belt.